On July 28, 2022, a federal judge approved TikTok’s $92 million class action settlement of various privacy claims made under state and federal law. The agreement will resolve litigation that began in 2019 and involved claims that TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) and the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) by improperly harvesting users’ personal data. U.S. District Court Judge John Lee of the Northern District of Illinois also awarded approximately $29 million in fees to class counsel.

The class action claimants alleged that TikTok violated BIPA by collecting users’ faceprints without their consent and violated the VPPA by disclosing personally identifiable information about the videos people watched. The settlement agreement also provides for several forms of injunctive relief, including:

  • Refraining from collecting and storing biometric information, collecting geolocation data and collecting information from users’ clipboards, unless this is expressly disclosed in TikTok’s privacy policy and done in accordance with all applicable laws;
  • Not transmitting or storing U.S. user data outside of the U.S., unless this is expressly disclosed in TikTok’s privacy policy and done in accordance with all applicable laws;
  • No longer pre-uploading U.S. user generated content, unless this is expressly disclosed in TikTok’s privacy policy and done in accordance with all applicable laws;
  • Deleting all pre-uploaded user generated content from users who did not save or post the content; and
  • Training all employees and contractors on compliance with data privacy laws and company procedures.